What the designer of ‘I love NY’ thinks of the ‘I Amazon NY’ logo
New York bent over backwards to score one of the two next locations of Amazon HQ, offering $3 billion in subsidies to make the deal happen. Yet nothing encapsulates just how much the state gave away than what it did to its own logo. Because in the first pages of its submission to Amazon, the city replaced the famous “I love NY” logo with “I Amazon NY.”
The Amazon arrow-smile took place of the heart. Or, perhaps, it skewered it.
Celebrated graphic designer Milton Glaser created the original logo in 1977 to boost tourism in the state. It has since become one of the most recognizable icons of New York City itself. No officials reached out to Glaser for the Amazon adaptation, his office tells us. Given that the state owns the mark, it’s not legally necessary.
“Outside of copyrighting everything you do, there is almost no way of protecting your work from being imitated,” said Glaser in a statement on the matter–before throwing a bit of shade in a way that only an icon of iconography can. “In this particular case, the Amazon logo is not very harmonious with the rest of the logo.” Glaser takes on limited projects at this point in his career, and his team implied to Fast Company that this probably would have been a pass if he had been asked. One thing is clear: Amazon is coming for New York, and life will never be the same.